Synopses & Reviews
Joseph Campbell's classic cross-cultural study of the hero's journey has inspired millions and opened up new areas of research and exploration. Originally published in 1949, the book hit the New York Times best-seller list in 1988 when it became the subject of The Power of Myth, a PBS television special.
The first popular work to combine the spiritual and psychological insights of modern psychoanalysis with the archetypes of world mythology, the book creates a roadmap for navigating the frustrating path of contemporary life. Examining heroic myths in the light of modern psychology, it considers not only the patterns and stages of mythology but also its relevance to our lives today--and to the life of any person seeking a fully realized existence.
Myth, according to Campbell, is the projection of a culture's dreams onto a large screen; Campbell's book, like Star Wars, the film it helped inspire, is an exploration of the big-picture moments from the stage that is our world. It is a must-have resource for both experienced students of mythology and the explorer just beginning to approach myth as a source of knowledge.
In this book, Joseph Campbell presents the composite hero. Apollo, the Frog King of the fairy tale, Wotan, the Buddha, and numerous other protagonists of folklore and religion, enact simultaneously the various phases of their common story. The psychological view is then compared with the words of such spiritual leaders as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Lao-tse, and the 'Old Men' of Australian tribes. From behind a thousand faces the single hero emerges, archetype of all myth.
Despite their infinite variety of incident, setting, and costume, the myths of the world offer only a limited number of responses to the riddle of life. In this best-selling volume, Joseph Campbell presents the composite hero. Through Campbell's eyes, we see Apollo, the Frog King of the fairy tale, Wotan, the Buddha, and numerous other protagonists of folklore and religion enacting simultaneously the various phases of their common story.
Campbell begins his interpretation of these timeless symbols by examining their relationship to those rediscovered in dreams by depth psychology. The psychological view is then compared with the words of such spiritual leaders as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Lao-tse, and the "Old Men" of the Australian tribes. From behind a thousand faces, the single hero emerges, archetype of all myth.
About the Author
Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was an inspiring teacher, popular lecturer and author, and the editor and translator of many books on mythology, including The Mythic Image (Princeton/Bollingen Paperbacks).